Pikom to hold talk on business continuity planning
9th August 2005 (The Star)

DESPITE trying for 10 years to raise the awareness of business continuity planning among local corporate heads by various quarters, its adoption is still woefully lacking, said Pikom.

However, this seems to be a global problem because even in advanced economies, like the United States, such planning hasn't taken off, according to Pikom - the Association of the Computer and Multimedia Industry Malaysia.

"Only 25% of companies in New York's World Trade Centre had business continuity (BC) plans in place when planes were flown into its twin towers on Sept 11, 2001," said Stan Singh, Pikom's business continuity special interest group chairman.

Disaster recover planning, where companies and organisations have contingency plans in place to get their computer systems up and running again after a disaster strikes, is an information technology issue.

"BC is a business, not an IT, issue. Quite often BC plans may not involve IT at all. For example, companies should have BC plans in place in case several of their key personnel resign at the same time," Stan said.

While Pikom has no statistics, Stan believes that part of the reason for the poor adoption of BC planning by local companies could be the lack of local BC standards.

Many companies claiming to have implemented BC have done so according to standards from other countries, which is difficult for local organisations to comply with, he said.

To that end, Pikom is working closely with local standards body Sirim Bhd, which is developing a local four-part set of BC standards. Part 1 is expected to be ratified by year-end, said Stan.

Raising awareness

Pikom will hold a one-day BCWorks '05 business continuity conference at the Corus Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, tomorrow in a bid to raise BC planning awareness among local businessmen.

BCWorks '05 will involve local and overseas speakers on the challenges of BC planning, the legal perspectives, and related security issues.

The event is supported by Niser (the National ICT Security and Emergency response Centre) and Sirim.

The conference fees are RM100 for Pikom members and partners, and RM150 for others.

For more information, call Lee Kean or Nirmala at the Pikom secretariat, (03) 7955-2922, or visit www.pikom.org.my. - CHARLES F. MOREIRA